Aaron Rodgers guides Green Bay Packers to Washington Redskins win
Blair King misses a 27-yard field goal as Vikings are pipped by Seahawks in the cold
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers guided his side to wildcard victory over the Washington Redskins. Photograph: Epa
Green Bay Packers 35 Washington Redskins 18
The Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers overcame a sluggish start and rolled to a 35-18 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday to close out Wild Card weekend in the National Football League.
The victory set up a date for Green Bay on the road next weekend against the Arizona Cardinals, completing the match-ups for the Divisional round of the playoffs as all four road teams were opening-round winners for the first time.
The Seattle Seahawks, 10-9 winners on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, play NFC top-seeded Carolina Panthers, while AFC top seeds the Denver Broncos host the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots entertain the Kansas City Chiefs.
Green Bay fell behind 11-0 early in the second quarter before Rodgers, who completed only one-of-eight passes for 11 yards in the opening quarter, got the Packers’ attack in gear on an unseasonably warm, windy day in the U.S. capital.
Rodgers, who had struggled down the stretch of the regular season, found his touch and confidence as the Packers ran off 17 points to head into intermission leading 17-11.
Washington responded at the start of the second half, with quarterback Kirk Cousins scoring on a three-yard quarterback draw that put the Redskins back on top 18-17.
But Rodgers, mixing in an effective running game with James Starks and Eddie Lacey carrying the ball, directed Green Bay on a pair of touchdown drives, capping the second on with two-point pass conversion to put the Packers on top 32-18.
Green Bay added a field goal and the spirited defense stopped Washington on fourth-down conversion attempts three times to clinch victory.
Rodgers finished with a pair of touchdown passes, completed 21 of 36 passes for 210 yards, and led the Packers to points on five successive drives for the first time this season.
Seattle Seahawks 10 Minnesota Vikings 9
Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal attempt with 26 seconds to play to gift the Seattle Seahawks with a bone-chilling 10-9 NFC Wild Card win in the frigid Twin Cities on Sunday.
Walsh, who had hit on 22, 43 and 47 yard field goals, looked poised to send a chilled Minnesota crowd home happy until he pulled his game-winning attempt wide left leaving both teams and a packed TCF Bank stadium crowd stunned.
“Crazy things happen in the playoffs,” said Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. “It was an ugly game, we didn’t play very well on offense and that’s on me. I take the blame for that we’ve got to be better.
“But we won, we kept battling. That is the great thing about it, you have to keep battling in the playoffs, you have to keep battling every opportunity you’ve got.
“Defense was lights out, they made so many big plays that kept us in the game.”
As the lowest remaining seed in the NFC at number six the Seahawks, bidding for a third straight appearance in the Super Bowl, will now head to Charlotte next weekend for a divisional showdown with the number one ranked Carolina Panthers.